Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey

Tripoto
26th Feb 2019
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Auli is a Himalayan ski resort and hill station in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. It’s surrounded by coniferous and oak forests, plus the Nanda Devi and Nar Parvat mountains. A long cable car links Auli to the town of Joshimath. North of Auli are the colorful Badrinath Temple, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and the Valley of Flowers National Park, with its alpine flora and wildlife like snow leopards and red foxes.

In this trip I covered Haridwar, Chopta, Joshimath, Auli and Rishikesh.

Day 1

We had breakfast and left for Haridwar, one the holy Hindu cities of Uttarakhand.

Haridwar is one of the seven holiest places for Hindus. It is the first place where the holy river Ganga enters into the Northern plains. People from all over the world visit the destination to take a dip in the holy waters of the river, which is believed to wash away the sins of every individual. Haridwar is also one of the four cities where Kumbh Mela is organized.

We Checked in at the hotel. Relaxed for some time in the hotel room. Later, in the evening visited Har-ki-Pauri, a holy Ghat on river Ganga, for Ganga Arti (river worship ceremony). It was a memorable experience treating your eyes to the mesmerizing view of the shadow of the lamps falling in the water of the river.

We Returned back to the hotel for overnight stay.

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Sunset on the ganges

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Hustle before the aarti

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Day 2

On third day of our tour, we savored breakfast and drove to Joshimath. On our way to Joshimath we visited Devprayag, Rudraprayag and Karnprayag.

Also referred to as Jyotirmath, Joshimath is the gateway to one of the sacred pilgrimage sites, Badrinath. Devprayag (confluence of two holy rivers- Bhagirathi and Aalknanada), Rudraprayag (Alaknanda meets Mandakini) and Karnpryag (Alaknanda is joined by Pinda river) are the three extremely popular, out of Panch Prayags.

Upon reaching Joshimath, we checked in at a hotel and stayed overnight.

Dev prayag

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

River bhagirathi

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Road from haridwar to joshimath

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Day 3

We straight away drove to Auli which was around 16km; one of the major Sking destinations in India. Set in the snow-capped Garhwal Himalayas, Auli is a real destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. To reach Auli, you can also take the 39 km long cable car (longest in Asia) . On reaching Auli we enjoyed skiing with professional instructors present at the site.

We Stayed overnight at Auli Tourist Bungalow.

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

View from the tourist bunglow

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Sunset in auli

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Day 4

In morning, we stepped out to explore the scenic beauty of Auli and indulge in skiing. It was raining all night so we woke up to an unusually colder day. The temperature was as low as -18 ℃. The rain water running down the roof was frozen. There was calmness all around.

With all your skiing equipment, we went ahead for experiencing skiing at its best. The Auli ski resort has one Poma lift (open cable car) and one chair car. We got instructions from qualified instructors at the site. The perfectly set ski slopes of Auli offered a panoramic view of the high Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi (7818 m).

In the late afternoon we came back to Joshimath by cable car and boarded a bus to Chopta. It was 5 hours journey. We reached Chopta by 10 Pm.

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Day 5

Chopta is a known as Mini Switzerland of India. It is land of beautiful meadows and evergreen forest. We were staying in a Luxury Swiss Cottage.

We enjoyed Chopta sightseeing, introduction of local culture and Dinner and spent rest of the day in leisure.

Chunar- chopta

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Sunset

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Himalayan monar

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Grey headed flying squirrel

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Day 6

After breakfast we went for trek of Tungnath (3+3 kms). Tungnath is the highest Shiva Temple in the world. It is third temple of Panch Kedar. Trek was moderate climb and the trek path was stone-paved, with benches provided enroute at intervals to rest and enjoy the beautiful views of the Chowkhamba, Nanda Devi, Neelkanth and Kedarnath peaks.

In the evening we returned to cottage and we decided to stay at a camp site nearer to the town instead of the cottages.

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Tunganath temple

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Tunganath trek

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Mt. Nandadevi

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Night camp

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Day 7

Early in the morning we started for Rishikesh. Rishikesh was a 7-8 hours drive from Chopta.

Rishikesh is a city set in the beautiful mountainous state of Uttarakhand and a location so serene that it can melt the heart of the gods. Often known as the Gateway to the Garhwal mountains, the city has a rich cultural past that blends with the modern city that it has become. There are a plethora of things that people in Rishikesh can do, varying from Bungee jumping to eating at some eclectic cafes. 

Rishikesh is a city blessed with a rich cultural history, a beautiful mountain range and the serene Ganga river that flows through it. The city perfectly blends modern and a bygone era into one place.

There are a lot of undiscovered things that you can do by the city and one of them is camping by the Ganga river. Aspen Adventure Camp and Outbound Adventure Camp are two well known operators in the area. Camping cost us Rs. 1500 per tent.

We spent the day river rafting, bungee jumping and spent the evening at the ganga ghat watching the aarti.

Last day of our trip came to an end. We had a morning bus to New Delhi.

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Neer waterfall

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai

Laxman jhula

Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
Photo of Uttarakhand- an offbeat journey by Amit Tarai
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